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Scooting in cats

Isolated cat

Overview

  • Have you noticed your cat ‘scooting’ or dragging their bottom along the ground?
  • Scooting is a sign that something is irritating, itchy or painful.
  • This article will help you understand what to do, and when to contact your vet if you notice your cat scooting

Why is my cat scooting?

Scooting indicates that something is bothering your cat, such as:

  • Something stuck on their bottom – such as litter or poo.
  • Worms a common cause of an itchy bottom.
  • Anal gland problems – two little scent sacs in the bottom that can cause irritation if they become blocked or infected.
  • Itchy skin – if your cat has a skin problem, they may scoot to scratch their bottom.
  • A growth – any sort of lump growing on or near the bottom can cause irritation.
Illustration of cat scooting

Cat scooting

When to contact your vet

Some cats scoot occasionally without having a problem but if your cat is scooting a lot or seems to be uncomfortable, there is likely to be something wrong. Check under your cat’s tail and around their bottom for anything obvious. If something is stuck, you could try to gently remove it by bathing. If it doesn’t come off easily, you see a growth, your cat seems to be in pain or you’re unsure, contact your vet for advice.

Published: June 2020

PetWise Pet Health Hub – brought to you thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery 

Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.

Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst